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5 Tips to Organize Your Firm
By: Jessica Rickard | May 7, 2021
As an accountant, you have multiple clients, multiple companies, many things to do, and just not enough time! Managing your firm can be overwhelming and frustrating, so today we are talking about organization. There is no silver bullet for organization and time management, but here are a few tips that you can start implementing in your firm today.
There is no doubt that you have multiple clients and sometimes struggle to keep up with them all. Between meetings, creating reports, analyzing financial statements, and different tax filings, it can be hard to manage it all.
I am no accountant, but I do have a knack for juggling a multitude of tasks at one time. So my tip for you is to organize your day in time blocks. Prioritize your tasks in order of either who asked first or who needs help first. This helps you focus on the most pressing items first.
Block off 30 minutes to an hour for each client and work on everything they need at once. Focus all of your attention on that one client – no distractions. Complete the pressing items first then move on to ancillary things. Segmenting your time likes this helps you hyper focus on one client and get as much done as you can, then when your time is up – move on to the next client.
Depending on your client base and workload, you don’t have time to spend all day on one client – so don’t. Create a timeline for the day and stick to it!
Have you ever left yourself a note that was so vague that you ended up ignoring it? Then you realize that message that said “Fridge 2p.m.” really meant that the repair man was coming at 2p.m. but you forgot so nobody is at the house to greet him? This could happen to your work tasks as well.
In order to stay on top of things, you need to have detailed to-do lists at all times. Why do you need to call your client? What do you need to talk about? What paperwork do you need from them? How long do you have to talk to them? When do you have to call them by? All of these questions are important and will help you prioritize your time more efficiently.
What To-Do and When To Do It
I just explained that it is important to have a detailed to-do list, it is also important to set time frames for your tasks. Each task should have two dates: a due date and a do date. Your due date is the day it absolutely needs to be completed. Your do date is the date you have set aside to actually complete that task.
Creating these two dates or time frames for your tasks will again help you prioritize your day and finish things on time.
Remind, Remind, Remind
Does anybody actually use the remind app on their phone? Well you should! Setting reminders of your due and do dates will really help you stay on task. What’s even better, is you can check them off when you complete them, which will cancel the notification.
If you haven’t noticed a theme, having these reminders will help you prioritize and stay on top of things you are doing.
Re-Prioritize Every Morning
If you’re like me, plans are never set in stone. This is why you have to re-group every morning. When I get to the office every day, I look at my list from yesterday first. I see what I got done and what I didn’t get done then make a new list for the day. Maybe something came up overnight or that morning that needs to be moved to the top of the list. Maybe I got a reminder that I set aside today to work on a certain project.
Re-prioritizing every morning keeps tasks top of mind and really allows you to get in the mindset to tackle those tasks.
These are just a few tips on how to stay organized and on top of things as you are working with clients. Managing other people and their financials is hard, so why not try to make it easier?